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Keefe Jackson’s Fast Citizens: Ready Everyday (2007)

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Keefe Jackson’s Fast Citizens: Ready Everyday How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Fayetteville, Arkansas native Keefe Jackson left his Ozarks home and bobbed to the surface in Chicago in 2001. Since that time, the multi-reedist has performed with many local musicians and has been the part of several jazz projects, including the Lucky 7s, the 774th Street Quartet, the Chicago Luzern Exchange, and his present Fast Citizens on Ready Everyday.

There is nary a single standard on Ready Everyday, giving evidence to the burgeoning Chicago jazz scene, a cutting edge zone of creativity and talent. Immediately out of the chute, Jackson proves to be a weaver of craggy melodic heads and sinewy solos. Josh Berman's cornet gives the decidedly post bop direction of the music a bit of an antique feel, a Janus-like effect of looking forward and backward at the same time.

The opening title tune has a basic post bop structure with a serpentine head and boisterous soloing, most particularly by cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, who summons, on this and "Signs, a sound that I suspect Yo-Yo Ma could barely comprehend in any context. "Signs is a loosely conceived piece with a simple harmonic foundation that provides ample soloing room for Berman. Drummer Frank Rosaly is brilliantly bombastic and noisy, demonstrating the true freedom of jazz in rhythm.

Keefe Jackson's music exists on the evaporational interface of jazz where harmonic structure dissolves into a controlled freedom which, in turn, becomes individual musical molecules, free floating. This is music of freshness where not every note is perfect, but the improvisatory path to those notes is perfect—and creation occurs spontaneously. This is the art and magic of the jazz musician.

Track Listing: Ready Everyday; Signs; Band Theme; Blackout; Saying Yes; Pax Urbanum; Course.

Personnel: Keefe Jackson: tenor saxophone; Josh Berman: cornet; Aram Shelton: alto saxophone; Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello; Anton Hatwich: bass; Frank Rosaly: drums.

Record Label: Delmark Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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